Kansas City is one of the unheralded gems of the Midwest. Nicknamed the “City of Fountains”, this Missourian city is known for its jazz music scene, delicious barbecue, and yes, its fountains. A vibrant community, full of creativity and warmth, it has to be a destination on your “Must Go To” list.
What to Do
As both the largest city in the state and the cultural and entertainment hub of the region, Kansas City is full of activities and experiences for everyone. History lovers have to check out the Liberty Memorial, a pillar erected in 1926 as a tribute to the men and women who served in World War I. At the bottom of the pillar is the National World War I Museum and at night, the 217 foot tower is illuminated with a flame of orange and red lights.
A major facet of culture here is jazz music. It is a base for the soulful genre in the Midwest and has been since the 1920s. If you want to listen to this music, you only need to stop at the American Jazz Museum on 18th Street or any neighborhood joint for authentic, live jazz. The Kansas City Zoo is a great place for families to go. 202 acres large and created in 1909, the habitats connect animals and cultures from all across the globe.
Even if you are not a Kansas City sports fan, it is highly recommended that you attend a sporting event while in the city. With Chiefs football, Royals baseball, Sporting KC Soccer, and NASCAR at the Kansas City Speedway all in the city, locals have made the city one of the great sports towns in America. Going to one of these games is also a great way to experience Kansas City culture at its best.
What to Eat
Kansas City’s famous barbecue and its sauce is known for being wide in variety and for its slowly smoked “pit style.” Arguably the best authentic barbecue restaurant in the entire city is Joe’s. Kansas City is full of cuisines from all over the world. There are Middle Eastern joints, donut bars, quaint cafes, bakeries, Italian restaurants, American diners, bistros, farm-to-table fare, brewpubs and many more types to choose from. Some of the most-famous restaurants include Garozzo’s Ristorante, Nara Japanese Sushi Grill, Blue Koi Noodles and Dumplings, La Bodega, Jack Stack Barbecue, and Lidia’s Restaurant.
Where to Shop
In addition to tasty food and great music, Kansas City is also a special place to shop. With a recent “maker” movement, there is an influx of mom-and-pop shops that sell vintage antiques and goods. The best place to find these shops are in the little neighborhoods, although there are the big department stores and malls as well if that is more your style. The best areas in town to go shopping are the downtown, midtown, and down south area.
Where to Stay
Kansas City has plenty of places for visitors to rest their heads after a fun day (or night) out on the town. There are pet-friendly hotels if you have a four-legged animal with you as well as campgrounds and RV parks for those who want to enjoy the outdoors. In the city limits, comfy bed-and-breakfasts, unique vacation rentals, and luxurious hotels are available. Whatever your style, Kansas City has something for you. Happy travels!